Historic Racing at Pursuit Racing

Victory at Goodwood for CSX2035 - rebuilt by Pursuit

Victory at Goodwood for CSX2035 - rebuilt by Pursuit

Since its founding in 2021, the Pursuit team have amassed an impressive haul of podiums, class wins and race wins, in a wide variety of machinery from the 1950s to the early noughties.

April 20, 2023

The 12-strong permanent team based in Bicester will support drivers in 2023 in more than 25 different race cars across Europe varying from a 1950s Lister, humble MGB or the 2014 LMP1 Epsilon. On Sunday at Goodwood, the firm surpassed two more major milestones, a first win at Goodwood and the first outright win for a ground-up Pursuit build.

In late 2021, one of Pursuit’s clients had identified Goodwood’s Pre-63 race now called the “Moss Trophy” (previously Kinrara Trophy) as a target race. After careful consideration it was decided that, rather than the more common pre 63 E-Type which had previously dominated the race, the client would like to tackle the race in an early 260 AC Cobra. CSX2035 is one such early Cobra which had enjoyed a successful racing career in the USA in the early 1960s but had latterly been used as a road car for decades. This car was delivered to Pursuit HQ in Bicester for a full restoration and race preparation to get it back to front-running pace for Goodwood. Importantly, the client was adamant that, whilst the restoration should maximise the potential of this historic car, the originality and authenticity of CSX2035 must be preserved at all costs. With very few 260 Cobras in active competition today, Pursuit felt there was ample opportunity to develop the package particularly in regard to the notorious handling characteristics of these early “Steering Box Cobras”. The completed car was ready for testing towards the end of the 2022 season and made a Goodwood debut at the 2022 Revival, where the car showed great potential. During the winter break some further tweaks and adjustments were made from lessons learnt at the Revival in preparation for the April Members Meeting.

Greasy and damp conditions certainly suited the E-Types better in Sunday’s morning qualifying session at the 80th Members’ Meeting. That said, James Cottingham managed to get to grips with the Cobra quickly in a short session and ensured a front row grid position for the 25-minute race, comfortably 2 seconds clear of any other Cobra, and alongside Le Mans veterans Olly Bryant and Al Buncombe, both in E-Types. Gaining good traction off the line at race start, the Cobra leapt into the lead at the first corner but the E-Types of Buncombe and Bryant continued to apply the pressure and, after a handful of laps, Buncombe was able to late brake his way past the Cobra into Woodcote corner, but wasn’t able to pull any gap. Having not driven the car before in dry conditions Cottingham was able to stay with the E-Type and, only a few laps later, he used the Cobra’s superior torque to draw alongside and past the E-Type, where he would remain until the chequered flag, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process, thus earning Pursuit their first win at Goodwood and an impressive victory for Pursuit’s first total rebuild.    

Other Pursuit rebuilds include the pair of ex “Drayson Racing” Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT2 cars which will both see race action in a few months. Also the G-Force courage C65LMP2 car, which made its debut at Mugello with dominant Class Wins and two podiums a fortnight previously. Back at HQ the extended workshop allows for greater capacity for these exciting projects and the same process is underway on a 1964 Bizzarini 5300 GT and an Aston Martin DBR9 (GT1), a busy and exciting 3rd racing season lies ahead for team Pursuit Racing.

we're on instagram